The characters see hundreds of kids every day. Most of them are probably kind of tongue tied like mine. And they don’t have time to get warmed up, because they have only a minute with them and then the visit is over. But I have found that if you have an ice breaker, your kids might get more time with the characters. For example, my son had a pen that was also a tiny flashlight that shined Olaf if you aimed it at the wall. Elsa thought this was the coolest thing! Even after the kids had moved on, she followed them so that she could play some more with the Olaf light.
So the thing is to make your kid stand out. We brought a Woody doll when we went to see Jesse and Woody and they loved playing with him.
One time the kids had a sword and a magic wand, and the characters had a fencing battle.
If you plan to see your child’s favorite character, dress them like them that day, or wear a T-shirt with that character on it. Last year, we were in line for Snow White before she even showed up, and the family ahead of us in line pulled out a Snow White dress and put it on their daughter on top of her clothes.
My daughter made a bracelet for Tiana using purple, green and white beads. When she gave it to her, Tiana teased her frog prince that it was nice that someone had given her jewelry!
My kids usually bring their stuffed friends to the parks, which has resulted in lots of cute interactions with the characters. One rainy day, my daughter had made a raincoat for one of her stuffed animals using a disney bag and a character wrote her a note, “Is this his raincoat?” An army man took my son’s bird and placed him in a tree. Baloo and King Louie played monkey in the middle with a stuffie, and Stitch pretended he was going to eat my son’s very favorite penguin! These make for some great pictures!
There are a few things we have found that give your kids extra time. If you have more than one kid, have them go through the line separately. We don’t often do this, but if it is one of my kid’s favorite characters, I like for them to get to meet the character all by themselves, so they don’t have to share the attention with their sibling. One more thing I have to add is that if you have an autograph book, sometimes this takes the place of any interaction the character might have had with your child. To resolve this, don’t hand the characters the autograph book right away. Let your kids say hi to them first and then bring in the books to let your kids hand to the characters to get signed. Disney has tried to streamline this, asking everyone to have their books out and ready for the characters to sign. Sometimes the “handler” will even take the books from your kids so that they can hand them to the character and get it done faster. DO NOT LET THEM TAKE THE BOOK! They won’t argue with you. They simply don’t realize how important it is to a 5 year old to actually hand the character their book and pen and watch them sign it. I have been trying to educate the handlers, but they tell me it’s higher up, this is what they are told to do. I have no doubt that this is true, but it doesn’t mean I can’t fix this! I am going to write to Disney and make them aware that this needs to change.
Often, the lines to meet characters are the longest ones we wait in, so make it memorable!